After Its Defeat, Governor Calls HPV Vaccination Bill Government Overreach

Feb 27, 2015

The governor says the job of the bill is better left to parents.
Credit Kreg Steppe / https://www.flickr.com/photos/spyndle/535493117

Governor Mike Pence says he lobbied against legislation encouraging more young people to get vaccinated against human papilloma virus, or HPV, because of concerns about government mandates. 

The proposed House bill, authored by Rep. Sue Erringto (D-Muncie), set a goal for the state to have 80 percent of 13-to-15 year olds vaccinated against HPV by 2020. 

HPV is a virus linked to several forms of cancer, including cervical cancer, and only around 20-percent of Hoosiers are currently vaccinated against it. 

The bill was defeated after several lawmakers voiced concerns about the state requiring parents to vaccinate -- a provision House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) says wasn’t in the language.

“What we’re seeing is old-fashioned thinking about real-life, modern issues,” Pelath says.

But Governor Pence says setting a goal could lead to a vaccination requirement.

“I just think this is a matter better left to parents in consultation with their doctors,” Pence says.

Pence says the state already does enough by providing information to parents about the vaccine.